Meet the Teacher: Vanessa Portillo loves students, seeing them succeed

Name: Vanessa Portillo

School: Jack Barnes Elementary School

Why you chose to work in the district: I chose to work for Queen Creek Unified School District when a job opportunity presented itself and I was looking to work closer to home.

Vanessa Portillo (Submitted Photo)

What I like most about what I do: Fifth grade is my jam! I love the relationships I make with my students and their families, especially when I’m told I made a difference in my students’ life. I enjoy watching the excitement on students’ faces when they understand a new concept or make connections to other concepts.

Where did you come from: I’m an Arizona native. My family is from Superior, where I was able to live and teach for five years of my teaching career. I currently live in Mesa with my husband and three children.

If I had picked a different occupation it might have been: I really enjoyed working in the restaurant industry, and I wouldn’t mind opening my own restaurant or food truck.

What I’m looking forward to most this school year: I’m looking forward to the progress my students make towards their goals and making sure my students are prepared for middle school.

My vision for the school: My vision for Jack Barnes Elementary is to continue to be an A-rated school with the strong staff and students we have. Our teachers and staff work hard for our students to be successful, and I appreciate that we get the support from our families and community.

People who inspired me (and how): I’m inspired by my grandparents and parents who laid the foundation of the importance of family and that hard work pays off. I’m able to apply that in my classroom because my students become my family and I’m there to celebrate their success with them. I’m inspired by my husband because he encourages me to try new things and not give up on things that can be challenging. I’m also inspired by all my coworkers who encourage and motivate me to be the best teacher I can be.

One thing I want students to know about me: I want students to know that I truly care about their success and well-being. I want students to know that I want them all to grow academically and see the potential they all have to choose their own path in the future.

One thing I want parents to know about me: I want parents to know that their child is loved and I am there to help them be a successful and independent student who is ready for middle school.

My advice to today’s youth: Be the one who changes the world. You can achieve anything you set your mind to. Also, “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” -Walt Disney

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